What if we told you that Cedric Ogbuehi has been doing great work in Bengals OTAs?
What if we added that one source who has been around the team since Ogbuehi was drafted believes that the former first round pick is finally looking like he could become the player the Bengals thought he would be when the team selected him with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft?
For Ogbuehi’s first three years in the NFL, there was a lot of hoping and wishing that the former Texas A&M offensive lineman would turn into a capable NFL starter. The Bengals tried him at right tackle in 2016 and then left tackle in 2017 and the results were lackluster in both situations. And that’s putting it nicely.
Ogbuehi received a 44.1 grade from Pro Football Focus in 2016 and a 41.0 grade in 2017, which ranked him as the 70th best tackle in the NFL. Guys like Marshall Newhouse and Ereck Flowers ranked above Ogbuehi in PFF’s ranking of tackles. That’s how bad the Bengals’ 2015 first round pick has been.
But according to a source, Ogbuehi has been starting to look like a developed player, “all because of offensive line coach Frank Pollack.”
Ogbuehi has been practicing at both left and right tackle and while he’s not slated to be a starter at any spot on the Bengals’ offensive line right now, he could work himself into that discussion if he continues playing like he has been in pad-less practices.
“I’ve never seen him doing some of the things he’s doing. He looks powerful and under control,” the source said.
Ogbuehi is now in a contract year after the Bengals failed to pick up his fifth year option, so while it’s easy to assume he’s now being motivated by money, it also could be the new Bengals’ new offensive line coach at work.
“He’s getting coached.”
It’s just June and the Bengals have yet to put on pads, but this is an encouraging sign that Pollack is not only making a difference but that Ogbuehi has a chance to still be a serviceable NFL player. At this point, I’m no longer hoping for Ogbuehi to be a starter. Just being an above-average backup would be enough for his final season under contract in Cincinnati.
Former Bills lineman Cordy Glenn is set to take over at left tackle and Jake Fisher, Bobby Hart and Ogbuehi are competing to take on the starting right tackle role. With Pollack in the fold, it’s anyone’s job to win.
It sounds like Pollack is hitting the right buttons with Ogbuehi and giving him the coaching boost he’s needed since he arrived with a torn ACL in Cincinnati. We’ll have to see what happens when the pads come on, but so far so good for Ogbuehi this offseason.